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2 warehouse accidents in Middlesex County leave workers injured

South Brunswick police and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating two industrial accidents in Middlesex County that left two men seriously injured. The workplace accidents occurred in separate warehouses on April 21 in South Brunswick.

According to a local news report, one accident occurred at the IFF facility on Docks Corner Road. A 29-year-old Toms River man suffered first and second-degree chemical burns on 25 percent of his body. He was reportedly working with different chemicals when the mixture exploded. After paramedics responded to the scene, the injured worker was flown by a New Jersey State Police helicopter to Saint Barnabas Medical Center. No further word was available on his condition.

The other victim, a 46-year-old Willingboro man, was seriously injured at the Wakefern warehouse on Davidson Mill Road. He was working on a lift truck at the time of the accident. According to a news report, he was pinned down by the truck, and medical responders transported the injured worker to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital for treatment. The precise extent of his injuries wasn't disclosed.

The injuries suffered by both of these men are very serious and will almost certainly result in time off of work for recovery. An investigation by OSHA should determine whether the workers were properly trained to perform the tasks that led to their injuries.

New Jersey residents should keep in mind that employers in warehouses and other industrial facilities have a legal obligation to uphold federal safety standards, and all employers in our state must carry workers' compensation insurance. By law, workers in New Jersey are not able to sue their employers for additional compensation, but every employee is entitled to workers' compensation benefits. There could be additional remedies, though -- a personal injury claim, for instance -- if a workplace accident was caused by someone other than a co-worker or employer.

Source: South Brunswick Patch, "Two Men Seriously Injured in Industrial Accidents Saturday," Davy James, April 21, 2012

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